Alexander Nemerov
Alexander Nemerov is the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University.
Nemerov, Alexander
Nemerov, Alexander
United States of America
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Description: Experience
A work of art’s power to convey experience requires that we feel two sensations: making and receiving. We must feel that a world is made before our eyes. And we must feel that this world receives something outside itself—some charge, some depth, it is hard to know what is the right word—that transfigures it into not just any place but a place, a...
Author
PublisherTerra Foundation for American Art
Description: Experience
Not long ago, while looking at Miss Amelia Van Buren (ca. 1891) by Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC (fig. 1), I had a remarkable experience. I had grown accustomed to seeing the painting in terms of meanings and...
Author
PublisherTerra Foundation for American Art
Description: Experience
In his noteworthy theoretical essay “Experience,” Ralph Waldo Emerson writes that humans by nature cannot fully grasp life as lived. If this is so, how capable are we of expressing our experiences in works of art? Despite this formidable challenge, for the past thirty years, scholarship in American art has assumed that works of art are coded and has analyzed them accordingly, often with constructive results.

The fourth volume in the Terra Foundation Essays series, Experience considers the possibility of immediacy, or the idea that we can directly relate to the past by way of an artifact or work of art. Without discounting the matrix of codes involved in both the production and reception of art, contributors to Experience emphasize the sensibility of the interpreter; the techniques of art historical writing, including its affinity with fiction and its powers of description; the emotional charge—the punctum—that certain representations can deliver. These and other topics are examined through seven essays, addressing different periods in American art.
Author
Print publication date October 2017 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780932171634
EISBN 9780300256840
Illustrations 72
Print Status in print